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Do Better Amp's Make Better Sub-Bass?

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bwstsw

Guest
Hey guys,

This has probably been covered before, but do bigger, better amps (such as a £500 quid Yammy for example) produce better, more powerful and deeper bass for active sub-bass units, that a cheaper entry level amp would do (for example a £100-£150 quid Sony or Panasonic)?

Somebody suggestted to me once that with it being an active sub, a better amp wouldnt affect the bass at all, with active subs having their own amps. I surely cant see that replacing a £150 amp with a £500 one wont make the slightest difference? Or does it?

Cheers
 

Kazman

Well-known Member
In my experience the upgrade in amp made a great deal of difference.

Not to the power, as the amp within the sub still controls that, but I heard massive improvements in bass control and levels.

On my previous amp (an SR4300 by Marantz) the bass was a bit lumpy and boomed a lot. But with the bigger SR7400, the control and timing improved by a massive amount. It also sounded smoother when it needed to, slammed when it had to and was subtle when it was told to be, a big transformation indeed.

You should also get a much better musical performance with all that extra control too.

A bigger and better amp not only improves bass control though, but all aspects of sound.
 

Daneel

Active Member
If you have any of your speakers set to small then the crossover may be better managed, that's about it.
 

Londondecca

Active Member
I have little experience of this in AV but in traditional HiFi, a better amp does improve the bass so I guess the same should hold true for AV
 

Daneel

Active Member
Originally posted by Londondecca
I have little experience of this in AV but in traditional HiFi, a better amp does improve the bass so I guess the same should hold true for AV
Why should it? The improvement in bass from upgrading the amp in a 2.0 situation or 5.0 for that matter may occur if the new amp is more capable of driving difficult loads (my understanding is the restistance of the speaker tends to be at its lowest in at bass frequencies).

In this case the sub is powered and only receiving an input signal. It is acting as a preamp but unless the cheaper amp is very poorly engineered or the new one deliberately messes with the bass signal rather than being neutral, there should be no difference.
 

Andywilliams

Active Member
In this case the sub is powered and only receiving an input signal. It is acting as a preamp but unless the cheaper amp is very poorly engineered or the new one deliberately messes with the bass signal rather than being neutral, there should be no difference. [/B][/QUOTE]

Exactly, I think a badly designed receiver or cheap receiver can alter the lfe signal which in turn alters the bass from the sub.
Cheers Gonzo.:)
 

Daneel

Active Member
Bleh, it has to operate over say 10 to 120Hz, if whoever designed it can't get that right they should be fired :D
 

Londondecca

Active Member
I dont think it is a case of poorly engineered amps having less control over a more expensive amp, the difference is largely due to manufacturing and cost restraints. There are of course expensive amps which are very badly engineered and cheaps amps which are superbly designed but the use of cheaper components like transformers, capacitors etc will degrade the sound. Economics will always play a part in mainstream equipment.

We generally accept that a £2000 DVD player should give a better picture and sound quality than a £80 DVD player, it is therefore the same with amps.

It is not that you get more bass with a better amp it is about having better defined and controlled bass and this should link into a better defined sound whatever the frequency.
 

Ian J

Banned
Originally posted by Daneel
In this case the sub is powered and only receiving an input signal. It is acting as a preamp but unless the cheaper amp is very poorly engineered or the new one deliberately messes with the bass signal rather than being neutral, there should be no difference.
I have quoted below a post that I made in May 2002 after reading somthing interesting in Hifi Choice.

Originally posted by Ian J
I have just read an interesting article in this month's edition of Hifi Choice about bass management which seems to be contrary to accepted wisdom on setting "large" or "small" on AV amps.

The author suggests that bass management is a far from tranparent process as apart from the phase shift that accompanies digital filterering, the redirection often causes big changes in both the levels and distortion of the signal.

Comparative tests were carried out on several mid price AV amps with the speakers set to small and large comparing the amount of distortion measured on the bass signal which showed very little added distortion if there was no additional LFE signal being fed to the subwoofer but considerably more (dependant on amp) if there was LFE in addition to the redirected bass signal.

Two of the amps tested showed an increase in distortion of up to 12% with speakers switched to small and LFE signal present over the comparative distortion with the speakers switched to large.

A further two of the amps tested showed that the subwoofer feed increasing by 8dB just by switching from small to large which would either make a mockery of A/B testing or clip the subwoofer.

According the the author the moral of the story is to set speakers to large regardless of the size of the speakers and avoid any bass management thus avoiding any additional phase shifts, changes in level or unwanted increases in distortion.

I am no techie and have just paraphrased the article as an interesting discussion point for the technical gurus to get their teeth into.
 

Daneel

Active Member
Ian if you read my first post in this thread the first thing I did was mention a possible improvement through a better executed crossover which is basically what your quote is talking about (it says bass management so perhaps I was too specific in just saying crossover). :)
 
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